Visiting the VLA

This past week I was in New Mexico to visit the Very Large Array (VLA). Part of this was work on the open house as part of NRAO, and part was a meeting of folks from ACEAP.

Welcome to the VLA.Brian Koberlein
There are several signs that you have reached the VLA.
The VLA antenna operators knew we were coming.Brian Koberlein
The VLA antenna operators knew we were coming.
They operate 27 of these. The collection of antennas forms the telescope.Brian Koberlein
They operate 27 of these. This is not a radio telescope, but rather a radio antenna dish. The radio telescope is all the antennas together.
The A configurationBrian Koberlein
The antennas can be moved closer together or farther apart. They were in the A Configuration, which is the most widely spread configuration. Most people like when they are closer together, but I really like the grand sense of scale they had.
At the Lyceum.Brian Koberlein
In the nearby town of Magdalena there is a telescope museum known as the Lyceum.
A telescope mirror is great for selfies.Brian Koberlein
A telescope mirror is great for selfies.
Hello fellow kids!
New Mexico Tech.Brian Koberlein
The VLA headquarters is in Socorro, which is also the home of New Mexico Tech.
Mineral museum.Brian Koberlein
There is a mineral museum on campus, which has a great collection.
Heading Home.Christine Hirst
As I was heading for home, there was a bright rainbow in the sky. It was so bright that you can see the second rainbow.